China has censored references to Harry Potter character Dumbledore’s gay romance in the new Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore movie.
Studio Warner Bros has edited out six seconds of dialogue from the Chinese version of the third film in the Harry Potter spin-off series.
In the film, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) explicitly reference their previous romantic relationship.
The two lines Chinese censors cut from the film include, “Because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love”.
But the film’s studio has defended the edits in China and says “the spirit of the film remains intact”.
Warner Bros said in a statement, “As a studio, we’re committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release.
“And that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors.
“Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators.
“But historically we have faced small edits made in local markets.
“In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested. Warner Bros accepted those changes to comply with local requirements.
“But the spirit of the film remains intact.
“We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film.
“And it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits.”
Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore acknowledges character’s sexuality
Author JK Rowling revealed Albus Dumbledore was gay after the release of the final book in the series in 2007.
The original books didn’t discuss the character’s sexuality. However the first two Fantastic Beasts films did later allude to it.
Now the new film The Secrets of Dumbledore has officially acknowledged it onscreen. Last month a teaser featuring one of the exchanges between the two characters sparked excitement among fans.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is out in cinemas now.
LGBTIQ+ content in films and TV censored overseas
Sadly, countries such as China and Russia regularly censor LGBTIQ+ scenes and themes in Hollywood films.
In 2019, Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody opened in Chinese cinemas with all mentions of Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality cut out.
The same year, Elton John was also angered by Russia censoring his biopic Rocketman to comply with the country’s homophobic “gay propaganda” law.
In February, heavy-handed censorship of sitcom Friends on streaming in China also caused outrage.
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